“Off Press” is a series of conversations with members of the LMU community about their impact on the world through their lives, their work and their Jesuit education.
Episode 4: In July 1961, Robert Singleton, retired LMU professor of economics, and Helen Singleton M.A. ’85 joined the Freedom Rides and boarded a train from New Orleans to Jackson, Mississippi, in defiance of state segregation laws in the South. The Singletons talk about their role in the struggle and jail time in Mississippi’s Parchman State Penitentiary.
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More about Helen and Robert Singleton
Robert Singleton and Helen Singleton M.A.’85, a married couple, were deeply involved in civil rights work in Los Angeles when in summer 1961 they decided to join the Freedom Rides, a seminal stage in the civil rights movement. Working with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), they had been organizing against racially restrictive housing laws on the city’s west side as well as against segregated barbershops in the Westwood area. In July of that year, they traveled to New Orleans and boarded a train to Jackson, Mississippi, where they were arrested for integrating a white-only waiting room. In November 2017, Robert Singleton retired after 35 years of service as a professor of economics at LMU. Helen Singleton is now retired after years of working with government, educational and nonprofit arts organizations.